A Cowan Academy® is a department or departments, or an entire school in which the teachers and the evaluating administrators each hold a Cowan Teacher™ certification. A Cowan Academy® can be presented in a school at any level of primary or secondary education. It seeks to foster in students the desire to learn as well as to build their capacity to learn on their own while providing them with the foundations of content knowledge in core disciplines.

In a Cowan Academy® comprised of humanities departments—beginning with English and social studies departments—this includes promoting love and empathy for the human situation that motivates students to learn more about others’ experiences of life. The methods, too, that are appropriate to studying and learning the humanities foster humane sensibilities and the proper discretion, what Nicholas Carr has called the “nobler instincts,” and cultivate three major abilities in students: the ability to take in information from verbal instruction and from the written word; the ability to transform information into understanding through contemplation leading to ordering one’s thought and drawing sound conclusions; and the ability to communicate in the written word and in speech.

The humanities, properly taught, require intensive, communal dialogue between human beings, and the relationship between students and teachers in a humanities-based Cowan Academy® is forged by mutual respect as teachers and students become co-learners dedicated to seeking wisdom together.

The Cowan Academy® is a nationally trademarked educational model from the Dallas Institute’s Cowan Center™ based on the philosophy of liberal learning for all conceived of and practiced by Drs. Louise and Donald Cowan.